Man-Eaters #2 takes advantage of last issue’s world building and exposition in the best way. I liked the first issue, but wondered if it’d really be something I enjoyed. This issue included much more actual story and it’s a big improvement.
Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Carmanga ramp up the horror this issue. It also gives us more of a glimpse into the lives of Maude Hansen and her family.
Maude continues to deal with the horrifying situation she’s in–despite the drugs trying to suppress it, she’s gotten her period and she might be transforming into a monster. While she copes, her divorced parents are forced to work together to investigate the attack. This leads to her dad getting attacked, but he’s mysteriously let go…
With world-building out of the way, Cain plays up her strong suits. She fully forms Maude in this issue, as well as her dad and her mom–a character who doesn’t even show up. Their relationships are quickly well defined, and each of them feel like fully formed people and not just characters on a page.
The horror and mystery ramps up this issue as well. We’re clearly intended to think the panther is Maude, but Cain casts plenty of doubt on it, to the point that the whodunit is as interesting as the frights. And what frights–the tense moments when the panther has Detective Hansen in her jaws is fantastic.
A lot of credit for that goes to Niemczyk and Rosenberg as well. In the homebound scenes, they play the script perfectly with facial expressions that land wonderfully, and lighting and skin tones add so much. The tension of the hunt is tense and scary too, shifting the story for humor to horror with a page turn.
This horror story is going to be talked about for a long time to come.
Man-Eaters #2 is available now from Image Comics.